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San Benito
April 20, 2024

Board hears update on Measure G funding, oversight panel

San Benito County supervisors received an overview Tuesday on the Measure G sales tax, including dates of when to expect funds to start rolling in.

Voters last November approved the 1 percent sales tax to fund road projects. The tax went up countywide April 1, but local governments shouldn’t expect to receive those dollars for a couple months, a top transportation planner said during Tuesday’s special board meeting.

Retailers are collecting the additional tax and sending it to the state, but those funds won’t be distributed until July, said Mary Gilbert, executive director for the Council of San Benito County Governments, which is overseeing the Measure G plan. Right now, her agency’s big focus is developing an implementation plan before the funds are distributed.

“It’s important to kind of be strategic about when we want to start spending,” Gilbert said.

She noted how matching funds from other sources won’t be available until next winter or spring. Gilbert said she is monitoring the California Transportation Commission’s development of guidelines for such matching funds.

The tax is expected to generate $16 million annually on average over its 30-year life, or close to $500 million. Gilbert estimated $244 million would go toward the expansion of Highway 25, with $216 million toward local roads and $27 million to other items that include administration.

She mentioned how Hollister and San Benito County would each receive 47.5% of the local-road funds, with San Juan Bautista receiving 5%.

Related to that funding, officials Tuesday pondered the prospect of choosing whether they want to bond for the funding so it’s available in bigger chunks sooner than later, but there wasn’t much discussion from supervisors about it.

Gilbert also updated the board on the required citizens oversight committee. She said the 18 applicants don’t meet all the required categories for the 11-member panel. Gilbert mentioned a couple examples, including someone in education and a San Juan Bautista resident, as two missing categories as of Tuesday. She said most of the applications came from Supervisor Jim Gillio’s District 4.

Supervisor Anthony Botelho, a big supporter of Measure G, called Gilbert’s presentation an “outstanding report” that offered a “clear picture of Measure G.”

“It’s going to take some time to put this all together,” Botelho said, before going on: “Passing Measure G was kind of the first step down a long road of where we need to go to fix our roads and improve traffic circulation.”